December 29, 2012
Word of the day: Shavua Tov (שבוע טוב) = Have a good week
We had an early night yesterday and a late start today, which was excellent. Breakfast went from 8-10 AM and my husband and I got there at 9:30 AM so that we could eat before trying to get a group together for services. Eating salad for breakfast seems to be a thing here. Anyway, we were supposed to try to get a minyan starting at 10:00 AM for morning services, but we didn't even come close. It wound up just being me and my husband, our tour guide Ariel, and two other guys in our group. Our rabbi and the other group's rabbi didn't even show up, although even if they had, we still would have needed four more men for a minyan.
Sidenote: This is a chabad trip, so I don't count for a minyan. It is very discouraging to not count. We were separated by gender for the Maariv service last night, but they didn't use a mechitza. It almost seemed like they might as well use one if we weren't going to interact and we didn't count anyway. A few of us stuck around after for an extended service - five men and four women. It was belittling to hear the rabbis talk about needing five more for a minyan. What is the point of going if you don't contribute to the community's numbers? Despite all this, I showed up this morning anyway knowing that I wouldn't count.
After praying silently to ourselves, since we didn't have a minyan, we had lunch with the group, followed by free time. My husband and I walked down the path along the Galilee, which ends at a cemetery. It was a gorgeous cemetery on a hill with beautiful tombstones and music. At the top of the hill was a mountain of stones commemorating Herzl, the first Zionist. We asked Ariel about it and he said that there is a pile of stones further north that is harder to get to where people leave stones every year. The one we saw is made up of some of the stones from that site, which they have turned into a memorial now.
|The moon on the Sea of Galilee|
Side note: they don't have limes in Israel.
Hear about my soldiers here!